The digital youth ombudsman preliminary election has begun. A digital youth ombudsman is a public leader whose job it is to represent and protect young people in the digital environment.
Where to go to if you get bullied on social media or your data gets leaked to an unsolicited website? How can one make a problem on the Internet known so that the leading IT players would notice it?
Indeed, many of these topics will be discussed on a Youth RIGF digital platform on April, 6th
. Every such forum, though, is but a one-time event. The specific and important problems connected with them come up on a day-to-day basis, and an average person lacks the specific knowledge needed to deal with them. This concept of an on-going respectful dialogue between the youth and their representative is behind the idea to create the digital youth ombudsman position.
In Russia, there is a number of both governmental and grass-roots projects dedicated to protecting teenagers and young adults from web-related risks. But if you are not into digital, chances are you have never even heard of them. The ombudsman is to facilitate coordination between these initiatives by being constantly in touch with young people, government bodies and non-profits, acting as a link between them. The ombudsman is also to share the accumulated knowledge with the public.
Should Russia make this happen, it will become one of the nations that are on the forefront of protecting rights and interests of young users in the digital environment, as similar projects are being discussed and even realised in a number of countries. These include, among others, Australia, Ireland and UK. It is our hope that the digital youth ombudsman will unite ambitious young leaders from the UN member states so that they could work together on a safe and friendly web environment.
Young adults nominated by leading Russian universities and non-profits for this position will share their vision of what an ombudsman should strive for and what would their first steps be should they become one. The preliminary election takes place on the Youth RIGF website and is to result in a candidate ranking. On the day of the Youth RIGF the candidates are to speak before all forum participants in Skoltech. The panel of experts, all renowned IT industry representatives, is to decide on the winner.
Get to know the candidates and vote for the one you see representing you in the digital environment! Vote here: http://youth.rigf.ru/#ombudsman